QUinn Oulton

Banger chats to Quinn, 24 year old musician and producer, about producing his own music, the importance of visuals and his musical influences. The South East London Saxophonist has just released his latest EP ‘Long Gone’.

Interview by Ellie Rose 

Photo by Charlie Tothill (@garry_powder)

Hey Quinn, can you introduce your music to the people of Banger Magazine?
Hello people of Banger Magazine! I am a 24 year old musician and producer, based in South East London - I write songs, and I produce them from my little garage studio at home. My music is pretty varied - sometimes it’s funky, sometimes it’s floaty - but it aims to stick in your head for a while.

You have a new EP coming out on 27th March, how does it differ from your last album/EPs?
My first album was my very first attempt at song-writing, and even singing. It was a brand new thing for me, and I now see that album as a sort of pathway towards finding my own voice as an artist with something real to say.

This new EP feels like a much more refined version of myself, and both the production quality as well as lyrical content reflect that. I feel there is a stronger sense of identity, whilst still holding onto the intimacy and honesty that was present in the first album.

What do you like best about performing live?
Live performance for me is 100% about the interaction. I am so lucky to have a band made up of incredibly talented individuals, who know each other’s playing inside out. We all come from a jazz background, which encourages a sense of spontaneity, and individual creativity to achieve a group goal. Everyone has internalised the music, but is allowed to go with their instincts - often resulting in huge tangents from the set, which are often my favourite bits of a show.

You sing, produce and record your own instruments - how does this unifying process help you as an artist?
I think a big benefit of my process is the immediacy of decision making that it gives me. I often go with gut instincts when it comes to writing. What I love about writing through producing, is being able to map a vague idea in my head, hit record, and go with it. The end result is often not what I was initially expecting - but that is part of the fun, and leads to things I couldn’t have planned using a pen and paper.

I am now focusing on committing to full takes, and being more forgiving of mistakes when recording. In the past, I have found myself surgically analysing and correcting things. This ends up sucking some of the life out of the parts, especially when it comes to acoustic instruments. Letting each part have its own quirks and imperfections inevitably gives it more personality, and adds another dimension to the music.

Photo by Inigo Blake

If you could have any member of another band join your band who would it be?

Jimi Hendix - so I could sit and watch.

How important are visuals to you?
I have been thinking about this more and more recently. I think visuals are an enormous factor in the way I view and interact with an artist. I love making video content for myself - I regularly do short songs from my studio, messing with lots of clones of me playing all the parts live together. Though, I am hyper aware of how important it is to unify the way I represent myself visually, and it is something I am trying to refine constantly. I would love to add a visual element to my live work, through projections maybe - just cautious about adding yet another bulky piece of gear to lug around  to my gigs.

Who do you take influence from?
As a saxophonist, John Coltrane is someone who truly moves me the most every time I listen to his music.

As a songwriter, John Martyn has been a huge part of my upbringing, with his albums being played on repeat in my family home since I was tiny.

As a producer and all round badass, James Blake never fails to amaze me with his creativity, and the way he is able to break boundaries with everything he releases. Let alone his angelic voice. Damn.

You were part of the Red Bull Music Academy 2018, how has this been important for you as an artist?
Aside form being the most utterly insane, unbelievable, dream like 2 weeks of my life, it has opened so many doors to me. I have had about 2 months worth of studio time at their London studios, allowing me to record and mix a lot of my new music, and I have kept in touch with and worked with so many people within the RBMA community. It feels like some sort of secret exclusive club, where everyone is there to help each other out, give some advice/contacts, or just hang out when they are passing through.

If there was only one song you could to listen to the rest of your life what would it be and why?
Solid Air by John Martyn. Feels so good, never get tired of it.

Lastly we asked Quinn to put together a curated playlist for us. Listen below.

And listen to Quinn’s new EP here: